FAN coordinates a statewide network of volunteer advocates and faith communities with the help of a small staff that manages programming and operations. We employ a Co-Director model since we value collaboration, and we build the staff team through full-time and contract positions, part-time event support, and internships through faith-based and university programs. Learn more about our team below, and feel free to reach out to them to get involved!

Rev. Paul Benz, Co-Director, is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He served as director of the Lutheran Public Policy Office of Washington previous to his role at Faith Action Network. Paul has been a long time social justice leader in Washington state’s religious community on numerous issues, and he continues to advocate for FAN’s legislative agenda in Olympia. He is the lead organizer for FAN’s growing Network of Advocating Faith Communities, which have pledged to partner with FAN to be advocates in the halls of power.

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Elise DeGooyer, Co-Director, brings to FAN three decades of experience in mission-driven work in human services and advocacy. She is a lifelong resident of Washington State, born and raised in Yakima, completing undergraduate education in Spokane at Gonzaga University, and making Seattle home since the 1980s. Her graduate studies at Maryknoll School of Theology and Seattle University focused on liberation theologies and pastoral leadership. At Northwest Harvest she helped shape advocacy initiatives on hunger and poverty issues in collaboration with constituencies statewide. She is the lead for Administration and Finance, while sharing oversight of the organization’s mission with Paul.

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Tara MillerBerry, Administrative and Development Coordinator, grew up in the South and found her way to Seattle through the Global Mission Fellows program of the United Methodist Church. She worked at Mary’s Place for five years, helping grow their volunteer program and managing shelters for families experiencing homelessness. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Psychology with a Biology minor, and has a Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. She is passionate about creating a world where all may not only survive but thrive, recognizing that every justice issue is intricately connected to another.

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Zahra Roach, Central WA Regional Organizer, is ecstatic about joining this heart-centered organization to do advocacy work in Central Washington as one of FAN’s new part-time Regional Organizers. Rooted in community at Islamic Center of the Tri Cities and Community Unitarian Universalist Church, she has built deep relationships over decades within the interfaith, nonprofit, social justice, education, and civic community in the Tri Cities. She tapped into these relationships to promote the completion of Census 2020 as an Equity Coordinator for Faith Action Network this year. It was an honor to work on behalf of an organization that she believes in and to do work that fills her cup. She wants to continue to build new relationships, maintain longstanding ones, and improve the efficacy of advocates working on behalf of FAN.

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Victoria Phair, Practicum Intern through UW School of Social Work, is currently pursuing her Advanced Standing Master’s in Social Work, with a concentration in Policy Practice at the University of Washington-Seattle. She received her Bachelors of Science in Sociology and Social Work, with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Bradley University this past May. She is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, but moved to Seattle this summer for school. She is very excited to work with FAN and learn about its impact on Washington state. In her work with FAN, she will be focusing on policies and advocacy efforts centered on housing and homelessness.

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Jaspreet Singh, King County Regional Organizer, was born in Dubai and moved to Washington State in November of 2002. He completed his degree at the University of Washington in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics and has volunteered as a teacher, liaison, and mentor at Khalsa Gurmat Center since 2013. His passion for creating bridges is what drove him to join FAN and is currently doing part-time outreach in King County and representing FAN in coalition work. He is a practicing Sikh versed in Sikh history, literature, and teachings.

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